Newcastle disease is an infection of domestic poultry and other bird species with virulent Newcastle disease virus (NDV). In the region of Central Luzon, Philippines, the virus is being implicated in the death of some 41,000 chickens, according to the regional Department of Agriculture (DA).

Public domain image/Ben Rudiak-Gould
Public domain image/Ben Rudiak-Gould

It is suspected that the spread of the virus was enhanced by recent typhoons that have stressed the birds and weakened them.

Dr. Eduardo Lapuz Jr., chief of DA-3 regulatory division, said the department had already implemented measures to prevent the further widespread of the disease, including the distribution of vaccine and disinfectant particularly to backyard raisers.

Newcastle disease is a worldwide problem that presents primarily as an acute respiratory disease, but depression, nervous manifestations, or diarrhea may be the predominant clinical form. Severity depends on the virulence of the infecting virus and host susceptibility. Occurrence of the disease is reportable and may result in trade restrictions.